Sussex farmers and farm advisors have an opportunity to learn more about the habitat management and conservation techniques that have achieved remarkable farmland wildlife restoration on a tour of Peppering Farm on 10 June.
Organised by Agricology in partnership with The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), and by kind permission of the Duke of Norfolk, the tour will be hosted by estate gamekeeper Charlie Mellor. The event will explore the three pillars of successful farmland bird conservation: habitat, food source, and predation control.
In the early 2000s the Duke of Norfolk and estate manager Peter Knight responded to a call from the GWCT to help prevent the extinction of the wild grey partridge on the Sussex Downs. This species has declined by 93 per cent across the UK since 1970 and was within ten years of disappearing altogether from the Downs.
Determined to reverse the decline, they established The Peppering Project on a 3,100-acre area of the Norfolk Estate, and the recovery has been remarkable. From six wild birds, the team has built a sustainable population of 300 breeding pairs of wild English partridge.
GWCT scientists monitored the project from the outset and a wide range of red-listed farmland species have made a spectacular recovery because of the management system put in place, including skylark up 57%, linnet up 94%, yellowhammer up 20%, and lapwing up 71%, along with other wildlife.
The event will provide an opportunity to discuss how food production and conservation successfully co-exist at Peppering Farm, and the positive impact their farm management approach and practices have had on grey partridge and other farmland bird populations. The programme includes an introduction to farmland bird conservation, Question Time, a tour of Peppering Farm and refreshments.
Event: Demonstrating the habitat management & conservation techniques that have increased farmland birds & biodiversity at Peppering Farm, Friday, 10 June 2022 - 10:30am to 2:00pm
More information and tickets: agricology.co.uk/join/events/demonstrating-habitat-management-conservation-techniques-have-increased-farmland-birds
This event is generously supported by the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust.
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies.